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Oil Spills

The effects of oils spills are devastating. Wildlife are killed or injured which affects the food chain, which in turn affects us.

The reasons for oil spills can vary. Ships may have machinery break down or fail which in turn causes a spill. The people managing the ship may have made careless mistakes. Natural disasters may cause an oil spill too. If a hurricane was a couple of miles away, the winds from the hurricane could cause the oil tanker to flip over, pouring oil out and spreading it. Illegal dumpers dump oil into the oceans because they do not want to spend money on decomposing their waste oil.

Many animals can die from having their coats or feathers covered in oil. They try to clean themselves and are poisoned by the toxic oil. Animals may also die from the oil blinding them. The animal will not be able to see and be aware of their predators, resulting in their death. Even if they survive they may be damaged by the oil and take years and years to recover.

There are many ways to stop the spread of oil in the ocean.

A boom is a temporary floating barrier used to contain an oil spill. They reduce polluting the shoreline and help concentrate oil so that other methods of cleaning are more effective. A boom can be placed around the tanker that is spilling oil or around an entrance to the ocean, like a stream. They also can be placed around a habitat with many animals living there. These booms will absorb any oil that flows around it.

A wonderfully eco-friendly way to create a boom is by using hair or fur, as they absorb oil so effectively. Other materials are sponges and booms made of chemicals. Using hair is a great alternative to dropping chemicals into the ocean that can break down the oil.  It is also an environmentally friendly way of collecting the oil as opposed to burning freshly spilled oil with fireproof booms, which causes pollution.

If you want to donate your hair, look to your local Council or Municipality if they have any programs in place of collecting hair. Some hairdressers send cut hair off to environmental organisations to be made into booms. Pet grooming businesses can do the same.  Care2 Make A Difference

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